Friday, June 30, 2006



Blogs will be sporadic at best for the next week (even more so than before!) since I had to mail my computer off to Dell, after a traumatic packaging process, in order to get the LCD screen replaced because of the insect in the old one. To the insect, R.I.P. However, it may deserve what it gets, because I'm now computer-less for the next 5-8 business days, right in time for the insanity of the Book Workshop, in which it is apparently common for us (Columbia Publishing Course lackey/students) to get an assignment at 10pm and have to turn it in the next day, weekday or weekend, at 8am. Yes, the thought of this makes me want to go to sleep immediately. And I might.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Self congratulating blog post

I just went back and read two of my columns that I wrote for the Daily and I quite liked them. This is even more obsessive than when I scanned 200 baby pictures of myself.

If you do choose to read any, read the one I wrote last, about Facebook. Often I go back and read things I wrote and cringe, but with few exceptions I didn't have that problem with this article. I think I had a good point/clever conclusion and I didn't ramble too much. Which is unusual. Go me.

Hopefully I'll feel the same way about my craptastic magazine assignments which I'm turning in tomorrow morning. If anyone has a brilliant idea about what to call a magazine about living on your own past graduation... let me know.


My room is being invaded by bugs. Perhaps this is because I left my window open, with no screen, for four days. Perhaps the reason I left my window open is because my room is freaking freezing with an overactive air conditioner and always feels a little damp. Perhaps everything feels damp because New York City in the summer is sticky and muggy and humid all the time, and it rained today and yesterday and the night before that. Anyway, whatever the answer to these hypothetical musings may be, there are now bugs everywhere. One bug found its way into my computer screen, and I now have to send it into Dell to have the LCD screen replaced. Another evil specimen, which looked like a bug from Men in Black shrunk down to the size of a large spider - black, glossy and menacing - was on my desk this afternoon and, despite my valiant attempts to kill it, evaded my washcloth-of-death (paper towels being absent in our bathroom for the past 3 days) and slipped behind the desk. I killed an identical one later, though, which I hope was the original. This time I heard the crunch and watched him hobble around while I mercilessly pursued his demise. Really, I would feel worse except that I'm kind of feeling like I'm going to wake up and find its godmother or guardian angel-bug standing in the corner clicking its claws and watching me as I sleep the sleep of the damned bug-killers. Then I'll be sorry.

Every Sunday...

Honestly, Modern Love columns freak me out.

beer booty Posted by Picasa

me, wearing nametag, and jefferson.  Posted by Picasa

journalism building.... where i spend my whole freaking life. Posted by Picasa

seinfeld restaurant. i'll take better pics later. Posted by Picasa

helen, amanda, and me, looking hugely fat Posted by Picasa

niki, elizabeth, and neil Posted by Picasa

home run Posted by Picasa

funny fence things Posted by Picasa

yankee stadium Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Scandal, etc., whatever...

Myspace is changing its rules...
Yay, I have loyal readers!!

Really, thanks to everyone who reads. You are awesome, without you there is no reason for a blog. I am so giving my Oscars speech here and the music is starting to play me off....

Anyway, yesterday was much better than the day before. I will post more info soon. In the meantime I am off to hear Sessalee Hensley speak. She is the buyer for Barnes & Noble and apparently if she likes something (or doesn't) it's pretty much the biggest deal ever. We'll see.

Monday, June 19, 2006


So, on Wednesday I'll be meeting with an editor to discuss the manuscript I had to read for this course. By the way, this is the manuscript. Incidentally, I kind of panned it. Also incidentally, guess which editor I'm meeting with. Well, a little Google action led me to this article about how the editor with whom I'll be talking about this manuscript is, oh, the Editor-in-Chief of Penguin Press.

Incidentally, have I mentioned how intimidating this course is? It's freaking terrifying. I tried to talk to this woman today after her talk. I loved her - she had this deep voice, a very casual way of speaking, and she seemed to be very devil-may-care and TOTALLY committed to her job (um, which is, btw, Editor-in-Chief of Publishers Weekly), which she clearly loves and is good at because of her enthusiasm. She just seemed so amazing because she had happened into the perfect job for her. Literally, perfect. And she was just so naturally charismatic and funny and interesting that me and half of the other girls I am sort of becoming friends with here were obsessed with her. We kept whispering, "I want to be her!" and we all kind of do, not because we would particularly want or be good at her job, but because it seems so wonderful to be so passionate about what you do. And the other people we've met have been passionate, but this woman also seemed approachable. Sort of. This girl Niki and I went up to her afterwards and I thought we were just both going to be like "I really enjoyed your talk," but Niki, who is this very bubbly girl from South Carolina, told her "You are awesome. We all want to be you," which led to a little banter and then Sara Nelson (the woman in question here) asked her if she was interested in books or magazines. Niki, like many people here, knows for sure what she wants and she said books, and then after another 10 seconds of conversation she split off. I was then left standing there with nothing to say, but I wanted to say something and so I ended up just saying "I just wanted to say I really enjoyed it," and she sort of tried to shake my hand or see my nametag and was like "You're Emily," and I said "Yes, nice to meet you, I really enjoyed it" again and shuffled to the side to let more smart-tongued young women talk to my new hero in life. I suck at networking, I hate it, I feel way too pressured to say something smart, and all I really want is to talk about how much I love books. I just freaked out and I feel like I'm already kind of blowing this course, because I feel like this is a 6 week job interview - and it is really strange how we are all so hyper-aware that people are watching us, and I am terrible at approaching speakers so I feel like a total disaster on Day 1. So I'm a little scared to face the E-I-C of a publishing imprint and tell him I didn't like the book he is publishing in three months. Ack.


Just a few observations about NY... First of all, in Rachel's neighborhood, people really do play music loudly into the street. I definitely heard "At last" blasting through the houses on one of my days there. Rachel's landlord, who is adorable (in an old man way), played jazz in his car while he fixed it or washed it in the driveway. And, perhaps less iconic, the next door neighbors had a BBQ that filled Rachel's living room with the smell of burnt hamburgers and the sounds of hip-hop and Michael Jackson. It was nice.

That said, without a tour guide, NY is sort of harder to explore than I thought. I'm on the Upper West Side, which I kind of like, even though it's not super hip, and I haven't ventured off Broadway yet. Part of that is that I have no time. Our schedule today was as follows:

Breakfast 8:30
Lecture 9-12
Lunch 12-1
Buying a notepad to take notes in/checking email 1-2
Lecture 2-4
Buying an iced tea and a bunch of coat hangers 4-4:30
Checking email 4:30-5:15
Dinner 5:15-6
Checking email 5:15-7:15
Lecture 7:30-9

So it doesn't leave a lot for daytime exploration. This Friday we get a "free afternoon" - which means no 7:30 class. I'm going to do some major research (right after I finish writing this) about where to go. I want to go back to the Met, and the MoMA, and I want to go to the Whitney. And a lot of places. But our breaks are so short that we can't really go anywhere besides, say, down the street, and most of what is around here is restaurants, which, cute as they are, are expensive and I've got my meals Mon-Fri paid for, baby. So it's frustrating to be here in the middle of this awesome city with so much to do, and yet... no. I have to sit in lecture.

Really, though, I want to figure out WHERE I AM. I have stared at maps of New York for forever, but I have realized that flying and subways totally disorient you. Basically, I think north is south and east is west, and in NY you kind of need to figure out which is which. The park I've seen a street down is NOT Morningside Park, but actually Riverside Park. It's completely flipflopped and I'm on the completely wrong side of the campus from where I thought I was. I need to turn the map around or something. I hate the disorientation that comes with not driving places - you need like a week to let your inner equilibrium sort out compass directions before you can function.

At any rate, I don't want to indicate that sitting in lecture is bad. I have been so bombarded with interesting information today, it seems like I've been in this course for much longer than a day.

More soon. Now - to figure out what museum days are free!!

Lazy, or just overwhelmed by modern media?

This article definitely helps me come to terms with my own guilt.

dorm room! Posted by Picasa

view from my window Posted by Picasa

skyline Posted by Picasa

more bridge Posted by Picasa

brooklyn bridge Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Scary to think?

you can't really tell, but that is a rainbow Posted by Picasa

more view. how pretty is the sky!? Posted by Picasa

view outside rachel's apartment in fort greene Posted by Picasa

more coney island Posted by Picasa

i look like such a freak Posted by Picasa

coney island Posted by Picasa


I posted a few pictures. I wish I'd taken my camera with me to the MoMA, but I'm going to the Met tomorrow so maybe I'll have pics of that. I need to get in the old Road-Trip habit of carrying it with me all the time.


Oh good, another venue for people to share their terrible poetry.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Sorry I have been a delinquent blogger. Every half-assed blogger says that from time to time and then doesn't blog again for 4 months or something ridiculous like that, but I promise I will get my act together and post within a week.

Since getting here Sunday, I've seen a bunch of places and I'm only beginning to appreciate the city and the scale of it. Sunday night we got dinner at 10:15pm, glory be, and then bummed around in her apartamento watching such TV classics as The Hills (I cannot condense my looks of scorn into words) and the tail-end of The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants. Monday we took the subway up to Times Square (which is what the future will look like - too many rolling media screens, way larger than it looks on TV and honestly kind of terrifying) and then walked all over. We walked past the Conde Nast building (yay publishing), the Trump tower (ugliest building ever), Rockefeller Center, Saks, Bergdorf, etc. We went shopping but I was good and didn't buy that much. I promise. We had lunch at the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle, bought SoyCrunch (some strange thing made of... soy), and then betook ourselves home to Brooklyn. Later on, we turned down the opportunity to go to Hoboken, NJ, to see a band and instead we went to Williamsburg, which is, for the record, the hipster haven (the writer, in fact, of the Hipster Handbook lived there). We went to an awesome bar called Barcade, which has old 70s video games and really good beer. Like, really good. I drank a lot of it.

Today, instead of traipsing around time, we traipsed out to Coney Island and sat in the sun on a semi-dirty beach for a while. I suspect that despite my 45 SPF sunscreen, the number of freckles on my body increased by about 35%. Bad. Very bad. Rachel got a job today, working at the once-defunct, now-restarting Radar magazine. Maybe that means I can get the rest of my subscription I paid for a while ago and only got 2 issues for. Anyway, to celebrate we went to Dumont, a tasty restaurant like two doors down from Barcade (mmm), and got excellent burgers & fries (like, classy burgers & fries). Now we're watching Last Comic Standing, which so far has had like 3 good moments.

So far it's all good. It's fun to be in the city and I pretty much want to shop everywhere, eat everywhere, and see everything. It's hard to make myself sit still, even though I'm exhausted. I think it will be nice when I settle down at Columbia and unpack my suitcase.

More soon.

Media eruptions

I have to say I love the meta-media fest that's happened in reaction to the Coke and Mentos Fountain phenomenon. I heard a whole 5-7 minute bit on NPR the other day. NPR! Coke! Mentos! Who would have thunk? I love it.

Anyway apparently the Mentos company looked up all the videos on the internet of this and decided that it's worth about $10 million in advertising for the company. This is why the Internet is awesome. I love grassroots power and knowledge (Wikipedia, YouTube, so on and so on).


I keep meaning to put up all my stuff about the Internet - like my research/conclusions from my speech to the parents/students of the Menlo School about Myspace etc. But since that doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon, I just want to share this article. I'm very disgruntled about this invasion of Internet space... Chicago public schools have passed a law saying that students can be punished through the school system for inappropriate behavior on the Internet (blogs). Which is all LAME. I realize it's the Internet, and I reluctatnly agree that it's good to research employees, but come on, it's also the Internet and these things represent approximately 2% of your personality if that. Sure there can be "red flags," but it better be a pretty red flag for you to not hire someone on that basis. Anyway I'm just going to be grumpy about this for a while and post further observations and real thinking later.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Money troubles?

I seem to be developing something of a issue with Anya Kamenetz. After a link to her website sat in my inbox for weeks, I finally took it upon myself to read some of her "Generation Debt" articles for the Village Voice. Namely, this one about trust fund kids. It's interesting and all, but it sort of bugs me. How about this line:

It's not as if I'm going to Suede and getting a banquette with three bottles of Crissy. I hang out on Smith Street and drink Red Stripes.

To quote Rob in High Fidelity, I'm not a class warrior. But it does bug me just a little bit when super-rich people talk about how they are so average and they drink beer with the normal kids. Why? Because being poor isn't just about what your lifestyle is like. Being poor is about feeling comfortable spending money EVER - it's about not knowing if you should spend money on one thing because you might later need something else, whether that's food or a pair of earrings at Target or a plane ticket. Comfort level with money is something that the truly wealthy can't understand. Blah.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

This is Awesome

I feel like Rachel would be good at this. So would Mom.

Taking ourselves too seriously, perhaps?

I think the same person who wrote that uber-serious article about LC from Laguna Beach also wrote this article about Anthropologie.

It helps the shopper create the illusion of household continuity by allowing her to reimagine a place where Grandma might leave out her pre-fluoride tooth powder, to simulate a life in which Mom and Dad still live together in a house with European teacups and flocked bedspreads. In a world of Anthropologie furnishings and clothing, the consumers can reclaim lost childhoods, lost marriages, lost virginities. The store's philosophy takes the colloquial and sad world of regrets and realities and wraps it up in a swath of vintage calico, tied with a satin bow.

But the bicycle of the Anthropologie customer's summertime memories has disappeared; it is now in pieces, on untouchable display behind the sealed walls of an enormous glass box.

Uh. What?

(Admittedly if I get another e-flyer from Anthropologie with a hazy summerish background - grass, pebbles, some vague tree in the sky - with summer references like "Dappled sunlight" and "croquet" and "stargaze" I might kill myself. It's like a better-made bad Apprentice assignment. And I get these like 3 days a week. )